Monday, January 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Qureshi’s transfer stayed

NEW DELHI, Dec 31 (PTI) — Non-applicability of Indian laws in Jammu and Kashmir today proved to be a major handicap for Delhi High Court in deciding the issue of handing over JKLF activist Hashim Qureshi, an accused in the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane in 1971, to Srinagar police as neither his nor government counsel could place the exact legal position before it by January 2.

The court, while adjourning the matter to January 2, further extended the stay of a city court’s order yesterday permitting the J and K police to take his custody till Tuesday.

A special Division Bench, constituted to hear the petition of Qureshi, challenging his detention by Delhi Police after his arrival here from Copenhagen and remanding him in the custody of the Jammu and Kashmir police, adjourned hearing to January 2 with the instruction that all relevant laws and Supreme Court judgements referred to by the counsel from both sides should be placed before it by tomorrow evening.

While Qureshi’s counsel K.T.S. Tulsi challenged his client’s detention and custody to the Jammu and Kashmir police on the grounds that he had already been convicted for the offence by a Pakistani court and served nine years’ imprisonment there, the Delhi police and the Jammu and Kashmir Government counsel said he was only tried for the offence of “wrongful confinement” of passengers in Pakistan and not for hijacking, kidnapping and robbery, mentioned in the FIR by the state police.

IANS adds: A city court on Saturday had handed over the custody of Qureshi to the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had registered a case of hijacking in Srinagar in 1971. The court had directed Superintendent of Police Ramesh Jala to produce Qureshi before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar by 4 p.m. on Monday.

However, the Delhi High Court stayed the Magistrate’s order late on Saturday. A Division Bench consisting of Mr Justice Cyriac Joseph and Mr Justice S.N. Kapoor passed the order while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Qureshi’s lawyer Vikas Pahwa at Mr Justice Joseph’s residence at 10 pm on Saturday.

In his petition, the advocate challenged his client’s illegal detention and also challenged the order of Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lou allowing Qureshi to be sent to Srinagar.

A Jammu and Kashmir police team had filed a formal application on Saturday before Duty Magistrate Kamini Lou. It asked for the transit remand of Qureshi to enable the state police conduct its investigations into the hijacking.

Qureshi had hijacked a Fokker Friendship aircraft of the Indian Airlines soon after it took off from Srinagar on January 30, 1971, and forced it to land at Lahore. The aircraft was later blown up at the airport. India retaliated by banning overflights by Pakistani aircraft over its territory. The two countries fought a war later the same year that culminated in the surrender of 93,000 troops in the erstwhile East Pakistan that led to the formation of Bangladesh.

Qureshi had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Pakistani court in May, 1973. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which ordered his release in May, 1980. He lived in Pakistan for a few more years before moving to the Netherlands, where he has been living since 1986. He also acquired Dutch citizenship.

Qureshi flew into the Capital at 11 a.m. by a Scandinavian airlines SAS flight on Friday under dramatic circumstances and gave himself up to the authorities. He was kept incommunicado at the airport for five hours before being produced in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Gulshan Kumar when he was remanded to 14 days in judicial custody.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |